I’m so cultured

I could have sat there for hours.

My honors art class had taken a field trip to two of St. Louis’ art museums on Saturday and our first stop was the Contemporary Art Museum.

I liked the majority of the work there, but one body of work in particular stood out to me.

It was a work by Carla Klein. She is part photographer, part painter. Her paintings are recreations of her photography, but she paints the flaws as well. Any chemical mishap in the development stage of her film is painted on the canvas. Her attention to detail was stunning and the subject of the series was haunting.

All her photos/paintings portrayed seclusion and vast emptiness. Her paintings sucked me in. I felt alone in the arctic tundra and on a road to nowhere. I sat and stared for 10 minutes.

Carla Klein

Carla Klein collection

We also went outside and experienced a Richard Serra piece named “Joe.” It was really neat because we got to walk through the huge sculpture.

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“Joe” by Richard Serra (ft. Veronica DeStefano)

Afterward, we made our way to the St. Louis Art Museum. I’d never been and I know that I’ll be back.

It was three floors of gorgeous paintings and sculptures from all over the world representing every century. We only had two hours to spend and it was not nearly enough time. I could have wandered for days.

The contemporary art section was one of my favorites. Several of the artists we were learning about in class had artwork on the walls of the museum. My two favorite pieces were Dan Flavin’s light sculpture and Morris Louis’ “Beta.”

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Dan Flavin

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“Beta” by Morris Louis

I really loved the simplicity of the works. It was great getting away from Columbia and enjoying the silence of the museums. It gave me time to forget the world and admire the beauty of art.

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Single Girl Diaries: The Stranger

Have you ever had a crush on a stranger that you see ALL THE TIME. You don’t know their name, where they’re from, what they do for fun, if they’re a dog or cat person, what their favorite band is, etc. They’re a stranger.

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You see them regularly—maybe at your favorite study spot or Chipotle. Sometimes you stare too long. Sometimes you accidentally find yourself drooling.

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You fantasize an entire life together:

  1. Work up the courage to introduce yourself.
  2. Instantly fall in love.
  3. Love leads to numerous, perfectly-planned dates.
  4. Then marriage.
  5. Then world travel
  6. Maybe some kids (meh)
  7. Settle down
  8. Mind-numbing 9-5 job.
  9. Come home and spend the evening talking about life and movie plots.
  10. Die within 10 minutes of each other at an old age in your sleep.

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I skipped a few other details, but you get the picture.

I have one of these stranger crushes. I call him “The Barista.”

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He wears flannel, has the perfect haircut/beard combo, and is super nice and charming.

The other day, I ordered my mocha latte from him. He spelled my name correctly on the receipt (swoon), then told me to stick around because it’d be done in a minute. It was a long minute, but I didn’t mind. I got to watch him craft my coffee. He then filled the mug to the brim in an attempt to create an intricate flower pattern out of steaming milk. It lead to an awkward sipping from the counter so I wouldn’t spill, but he was very funny about it.

Go-ahead-flirt-barista

I don’t know his name and I know I’ll never actually say anything other than “Mocha, please” and “Can you punch my card?” (see previous blog).

So this is to you, nameless barista. Thank you for always making me smile and producing the most delicious mocha I’ve ever had. I look forward to many more daydreams of our (non) life together.

(Is this weird?)

I know what I want.

I’m having a revelation. Right now. As I write this.

I know what I want to do with my life. 

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But here’s the problem: I don’t know if I’m cut out for it.

I want to be a photographer for an outdoors magazine (OUTSIDE MAG OH EM GEE) or some commercial outdoors company (PATAGONIA NORTHFACE WHAATTT?) that allows me to travel the natural world with people that are extremely passionate about it. I want to explore. I want to meet new and exciting people, do new and exciting things. I want to surround myself with those that live life. I want to step outside my comfort zone. I want to climb a mountain, scuba dive deep in the ocean, backpack across Europe, tell stories both visually and verbally, and I want to do this as a career. Not as a side hobby or something to do in my (nonexistent) free-time with my (nonexistent) money.

I understand that this is really reaching. I know this sounds outlandish and unrealistic. I don’t know if I’ll ever get here with my life, but boy, it sure sounds great, doesn’t it?

So how do I get here? Of course I expect to hold a number of less than desirable positions. I may discover a passion in something else along the way. Maybe I’ll be a writer for Buzzfeed (a girl can dream) or a photo editor at a dinky newspaper in rural Missouri (which would also be kind of cool). WHO KNOWS?

But it definitely feels nice to have a direction. I may not be following the direct route of a normal photojournalist, but I want to spend my life doing something I’m excited about. Something that doesn’t make mentally exhausted at the end of the day, but physically exhausted because I had been hiking through Norway or snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. I want to share the beauty of the world with those that so often overlook it. We’ve been given an amazing gift to live this life on Earth and so few take advantage of that.

I don’t know where this adventurous spirit comes from and I doubt I’ll ever live up to it, but for right now, I’m content in my daydreams and hope to one day make them my reality.

Single Girl Diaries: Can Girls Ask Out Guys?

FIRST OFF:

I’d like to clarify for those readers that may believe the title of this post to be an obvious answer. I know girls CAN ask out guys. The answer is very much yes. I’m very pro gender equality/I’m very opposed to the stereotypical gender roles placed on us.

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HOWEVER, can I ask a guy out?

(This is much less of a “gender equality” thing and much more of a “how the hell do I get the courage to do this” thing.)

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I was raised in a fairly traditional, conservative household. Therefore, I was raised to expect men to be extremely chivalrous. I expect guys to be kind and thoughtful and hold doors and ask me out (mostly I’m terrified of asking them).

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Seriously though. Kudos to you, guys. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there. Rejection is one of my greatest fears in life, so I feel ya.

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So how do I, as a timid female, ask out the really great guy I’ve been crushing on?

Guys: Does it make you feel un-masculine when a girl asks you out? Also, I feel like if I have to do the asking, it’s because you aren’t interested? Is this true? Someone answer my questions.

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This is a very one-thought post. I don’t really have anything else. I just need answers because this is something I’m considering but have no idea what I’m doing so weeeeeee.

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PEACE,

Ellise

WHAT I’VE DONEEEE (sung to Linkin Park’s 2007 hit)

Over the past week, I’ve spent two days at The Missourian on general assignment. I managed to snag four stories over the two days, hang out with great people in the newsroom, and pick up a nasty cold that makes me feel like death.

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What I’ve done this week:

ENJOY